General practitioner Wales

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Extra funding to support GP returners

Additional funding has been secured to support a surge in GPs returning to Wales after working overseas.

The BMA helped to secure the additional funding, which aims to address recruitment and retention problems in general practice in Wales.

Each year, the Wales Deanery makes funding available to support five returning GPs, and this year health minister Mark Drakeford has said he will boost the funding by transferring money from unused GP training places.

The move follows an increase in the number of GPs wanting to return to Wales following changes to the returnee scheme negotiated by BMA Cymru Wales.

In a letter to BMA Wales GPs committee chair Charlotte Jones, Professor Drakeford said: ‘This year the Wales Deanery has reported an increased level of interest from individuals returning to Wales.

'By September, 15 applications had already been received across a number of areas within Wales.


Flexible funding

'As a result, I have given Wales Deanery the flexibility to use funding of up to £150k in 2015-16 and future years from unfilled GP training places to support additional numbers of GP returners to practice in Wales.

'This is in addition to the five returners places already funded.'

Responding to the funding confirmation, Dr Jones said: 'We welcome any development that enables GPs to return to the workforce, and these additional places — together with the revisions of the returnee scheme — will do that.

'We hope to see more positive developments in the very short-term future to address our current critical problem with the GP workforce.'

Professor Drakeford, in the same letter, also confirmed funding for a number of post-certificate of completion of training GP fellowships.

He added: 'The schemes will be targeted at GPs within three years of achieving their [CCT].

'Fellows will be expected to complete a normal workload for 60 per cent of the working week in the host GP practice following a short induction period.

'The remaining 40 per cent of the working week will be a bespoke developmental opportunity for each individual participating in the scheme.'



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